New research published by UK communications regulator Ofcom shows that signing up to the Telephone Preference Service reduces the number of unsolicited ‘live’ marketing or sales calls by around a third.
The TPS is a free service that enables consumers to opt out of receiving unsolicited sales or marketing calls on their fixed-line or mobile phone numbers. Organisations are legally required to ensure they don’t call numbers registered on the TPS unless they have the consumer’s consent to contact them.
However, some companies break these rules - and it’s often particularly difficult to enforce the law when rogue companies are based outside the UK.
Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office commissioned a study to measure how effective the TPS is. It discovered that registering with the TPS reduced the average volume of live sales or marketing calls per month by 31%. In total, 45% of those registered with the TPS said they didn’t receive any live sales calls at all, compared to just 26% of those who hadn’t registered.
The study also found that registering reduced the total volume of all types of nuisance calls, including silent calls, abandoned calls and recorded marketing messages, even though these aren’t covered by the TPS. Registering with the TPS resulted in a 35% fall in the number of all nuisance calls received per month.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said “It’s encouraging that people who register with the Telephone Preference Service see a significant reduction in nuisance calls. But we understand how frustrating it is to still receive some unsolicited sales calls despite being TPS-registered. That’s why we welcome tough enforcement action from the ICO against rogue companies who breach the rules as part of regulators’ joint work to help tackle nuisance calls.”
Ofcom and the ICO are both part of a taskforce that’s looking at the rules on marketing consent and whether these are working in the best interest of consumers.